High court upholds key part of Obama health law
Posted at: 06/28/2012 10:14 AM | Updated at: 06/28/2012 5:56 PM
The individual mandate survives.
The Supreme Court has upheld the heart of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul -ruling in favor of the requirement that most Americans can be required to have health insurance, or else pay a penalty.
The decision means the historic overhaul will continue to take effect over the next several years, affecting the way countless Americans receive and pay for their personal medical care.
The ruling also hands President Barack Obama a campaign-season victory.
The court found problems with the law's expansion of Medicaid. But even there, it said the expansion could proceed as long as the federal government does not threaten to withhold the entire Medicaid allotment to states if they don't take part in the extension.
The court's four liberal justices, Stephen Bryer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor, joined Roberts in the outcome.
Statement from Monroe County Medical Society President
Dr. Leslie Algase: "I'm pleased that we can keep moving forward. If this had been nipped in the bud, then it would have caused chaos. Nobody would have known what to do next. Everybody would have been confused. Politics aside, the practicality of trying to deal with this thing is complicated. And if you suddenly took it away, it would be even more complicated. Now, hopefully if there are areas of the law that are not helpful, or that create more cost, or make our lives more miserable, then hopefully Congress can take and do more precise micro-surgery to the bill instead of just throwing the whole thing out the window."
Statement from Congresswoman Louise Slaughter(D)
"I am very pleased that the Supreme Court has upheld the landmark Affordable Care Act," said Slaughter. "I was proud to bring this bill to the floor of the House of Representatives as Chairwoman of the Rules Committee in 2009, and I continue to be proud of the ways in which the law has improved health care access for millions of Americans. We worked long and hard to protect Medicare's guarantee of quality health care for our seniors and to make health care more affordable for American families. The ACA also ensures that being a woman is no longer a pre-existing condition and a justification for higher premiums.
"This groundbreaking legislation was never about politics - it was about saving lives and safeguarding the health and wellbeing of American families. I know that much work remains to be done but I am gratified to know that we are a step closer to ensuring that no American will live in fear of losing their home and everything they own because they or a member of their family is stricken by illness."
Statement from Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks(Republican candidate for 25th Congressional District)
“The Supreme Court’s decision today made clear that the Obamacare Individual Mandate is a colossal new tax to be levied on the American people, one which will cost taxpayers trillions of dollars for years to come. Regardless of the law’s constitutionality, our families and seniors deserve better. Furthermore, I remain deeply concerned about the exploding debt and runaway spending that the current failed system in Washington will hand down to future generations of Americans. That’s why I strongly believe that Congress must remain committed to repealing Obamacare and the massive tax hike it places on everyday taxpayers and their families.
As then Chair of the Rules Committee, Louise Slaughter played a key role in forcing this massive tax hike though Congress, quashing any attempts to debate the bill on its many failings. Although the passage of Obamacare represented Washington dysfunction at its worst, I believe that we now have an opportunity show America at its best. With the continued support of local voters, I look forward to working collaboratively in Congress to replace Obamacare with real reform that best serves American families, while protecting taxpayers.”